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Javonte Williams on Backfield Split with Melvin Gordon: 'Everything Will Be Good'

Gordon is eating into Williams' workload for another year.

To the dismay of fantasy owners everywhere, the Denver Broncos again opted for a running back by committee, a two-headed attack comprised of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon, who returned to the team in April on an incentive-laden prove-it deal.

Rather than crown Williams its understood RB1 following an imposing 2021 rookie campaign, Broncos brass merely reverted his title to 1A. The talented North Carolina product, whom Denver traded up to draft, will continue being vultered by the opportunistic eighth-year veteran.

It's a reality that Williams has accepted — and embraced.

“The way that we were last year, I think that we’ll be the same way this year," he told reporters Thursday. "Everything will be good, and we’re just trying to win games.”

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Last year, the Broncos fell into a perfect 50-50 split with Gordon and Williams each handling 203 carries for 4.5- and 4.4 yards-per-tote, respectively. On a per-game basis, the former narrowly edged out the latter in attempts, 12.7 to 11.9. They were ranked 16th and 19th overall by Pro Football Focus.

Interestingly, though, Williams toppled Gordon in receptions (43), receiving yards (316), and receiving touchdowns (3), demonstrating legitimate three-down ability. This is a wrinkle to his game that could keep Williams on the field more often under new head coach/offensive play-caller Nathaniel Hackett.

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“Every meeting that we have, we talk about confusion," Williams said of Hackett's system. "We want everything to look the same so that way the defense doesn’t know when a different play is coming. I feel like this is the most complex offense that I have been in, but I feel like it will be the best because you never know what’s coming at you.”

But the budding NFL star does know what's coming at him in 2022: a healthy dose of Gordon and (maybe?) an occasional sprinkle of third-stringer Mike Boone.

In this offense, he's learning, there's no such thing as too many.

"I think you need two or three runners in this league," Hackett said in March. "They’re going to get nicked. It’s a tough position. But I couldn’t be more happy with Javonte in his first year.”


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